In January we look forward to reports of fresh steelhead pushing into rivers, winter chinook becoming keepers as they continue to feast on the bait balls coming into the harbour and around Bowen Island etc. While fresh rain is helping out the rivers and bringing in fresh fish, its not the most pleasant weather to angle in and it does make for ugly commutes to work and back!
Looking ahead for the next 7-10days in the Lower Mainland we are seeing a lot of rain in forecast which may dump some snow on the upper reaches of the Squamish so if you are heading up to higher elevations please check the current forecasts and be sure you are properly equipped for winter driving to your fishing destination and you have safety supplies should you run into any issues!
NEW COURSES!! This is just a preemptive teaser, however, as promised, we have managed to pull together a few new courses for 2014. We will be releasing full information (dates/times/pricing) on these courses on Monday, Jan 13th via email, Facebook and here on our blog.
These featured courses will be taught (starting in Feb, 2014) by local fishing and photography expert, Aaron Goodis:
- Spey Casting – “The Modern West Coast Skagit Style”
- Sacred Coast Photo Workshop – learn how to capture that “fish moment” perfectly for framing in your office or home!
- Single Hand Fly Casting – Advanced Distance
- Single Hand Fly Casting – Faults & Fixes
Call Pacific Angler at 604.872.2204 to be put on the EARLYBIRD list (your name/phone #) for one of these courses. There are limited spots available in each course and these will sell out!
Jordan Simpson – Reporting from the Flats in Hawaii!
PA team member Jordan is in Hawaii for the month of January and yesterday he sent us his first fishing report from his trip. Stay tuned for more Hawaii reports and an amazing “sunglass review” that will be featured in next weeks report!
Hawaii Fishing Report:
With the girlfriend joining me for the first week of the trip, there was more sun-tanning than fishing with our scheduled fishing date for peacock bass also cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances. Fast forward a week and I’ve been on the water twice chasing bones.
With Hawai’i being a trophy destination, one usually finds themselves skipping over small fish that are sighted due to not wanting to be tied into one when a big fish does finally show itself.
The first day on the water I actually flew from Oahu to Molokai for the day to fish with a good friend of the shop. We hired Captain Clay Ching of Hallelujahhou Fishing for a guided day on the water.
With the Trade Winds blowing and a cold pressure front moving in, few fish were spotted between the three of us- all of whom are experienced at spotting fish. With the few fish that were spotted being in the 4-5lb range, we gladly took the opportunity to throw at them, even though they were smaller than what we were looking for. Until we saw the shark.
My fishing partner, who was not accustomed to the size of Hawaiian bonefish saw a small fin break the surface in about two and a half to three feet of water. Thinking he had just spotted a small black-tip reef shark, he exclaimed “shark!” in excitement, and not fear (black-tips are pretty docile and spook easily). As I looked over and spotted it, I could tell by the colour that this was not a shark. After I had corrected him and exclaimed it was a bonefish, he retorted “Are you sure? I think it’s a shark- look, there’s the fin again”. I had to tell him that the fin we were looking at was the top fork in the tail. To be honest, it did look like the dorsal fin to a shark, but I could tell from the shape, angle, and colour that it was a bonefish and one of the biggest we had both seen. Unfortunately, after we each took multiple shots at it with no love, it slowly meandered off into the blue. We did come across a small school of Papio, as well as a good sized Barred Jack that but a decent bend in the rod.
We went out again today to one of our more productive tailing locations to see the same thing. With the water being cold and only partial sun, the few fish that did come on to the flat easily spooked or weren’t seen until the last minute due to the cloudy skies. Only spending a couple hours on the water and talking to a few of the other guides we know, we decided to call it a day and just come in for lunch which proved to be the better decision
Pacific Angler – Featured Course
Class Size: 7
Dates (two nights per course): (Jan 14 & 15) or (Feb 17 & 18)
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm
Call PA @ 604.872.2204 to RESERVE your spot!
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials.
A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
Freshwater Fishing Reports
We are hosting our famous egg fishing course this weekend up the squamish and we are hoping for good conditions. The weather is going to be interesting Thursday and Friday but we are crossing our fingers that the river won’t blow out for the weekend. That said if the river rises and holds reasonable clarity, it could be some of the best fishing of the season. Watch the weather and river levels website closely before heading out.
We will be targeting bull trout and rainbows with indicator nymphing rigs and egg beads. We just received an awesome selection of trout beads so if you need to round out your color selection come on in. We have some cool new colors!
This fishery lasts well into February and on warm wet days it is very productive. If you are new to egging work hard on mending the line and cover tons of ground. If you want some help come on in we will give you the egging pep talk and go over how to mend properly. The difference between a good mend and a poor mend is usually the only difference between the guy catch nothing and the guy catching lots.
The Squamish and Cheakamus systems are a 100% catch and release – no bait/scent – barbless fishery so play by the rules, give other anglers space and have fun!
Though we have heard the odd whisper we have had no confirmed reports of steelhead on the system and don’t expect much in that department until February – March. Send in the report if/when you have heard anything!
We have heard of a couple fish caught recently and have seen some winter runs milling about in the hatchery outlet. Things will only get better as we get closer to march. This river flows very clear most of the time which makes subtle presentations important. 3 egg roe bags, small jigs, Jensen eggs and colorado blades should be in your vest.
The rain has arrived, and so have the fish. The steady precipitation we’ve had has really stirred things around and brought some fresh fish into the system. We’ve heard of several successful outings in the last couple days and expect more over the weekend. Early fish tend to be very aggressive making artificial baits a great option rather than constantly re-baiting your hook. 4-6” pink rubber worms, medium-large gooey bobs, and colorado blades are excellent choices. Fly fisherman have been successful lately as well. The 7.5ft T-14 MOW tip and a light-medium weighted fly is a winning combo for the skagit enthusiasts on the Vedder. Get out there and as always keep moving!
We had some reports from the Stave with guys fishing for white fish and cutthroat with egg patterns and nymph rigs just down from the dam. We haven’t heard of any news on how the access is right now and we would love to get some first-hand info about where it is safe to park and fish. Let us know!
We had a couple more good reports from the cutthroat fisherman hitting the Harrison area sloughs and Fraser back channels. There are not any salmon fry out yet but the hot fly was a muddler with baby blue diamond braid body. God only knows what it was imitating and it is possible that the cutthroat didn’t even know – whatever it was the guys had some great pictures from the results.
Winter cutthroating is a great fishery to look at this time of year and the key is to cover ground and keep your eyes peeled for surface activity. Most anglers will use a floating line or a slow clear sinking lines matched to a 4, 5 or 6wt rod with light 5-6lb tippet.
Well, we had it in last week’s report to keep your eye on this system and for a couple lucky anglers who were listening, it paid off. We have heard of a few fish tubed for the hatchery. Right now the river is gone back up and it is high but if it comes down there might be a few more fish kicking around. This is still not a very productive fishery and you are very lucky if you catch a steelhead on this system. That said, it is a beautiful little river in our backyard. She is well worth getting to know if you have the time to work hard, get skunked lots but then be rewarded for your efforts.
Todd Sweet: Last weekend was cold and clear with almost no wind so it was perfect for winter fishing. I dropped off some crab and prawn traps then headed to Tunstall Bay to catch the tail end of the high slack. The ebb had just started so I figured I would give it a couple passes. We dropped the gear in and within 5 minutes had a good fish on the measured out at 25 inches.
It was on an irish creme spoon right on the bottom in 125 feet of water. We did a couple more passes but didn’t get anything. We then moved over to Grace Islands where there had been some action earlier in the week and between the 4 boats there we worked it hard without getting anything else. There was some bait in there but no action. We pulled a couple buckets of prawns and a few crabs to finish off the day.
Fishing has continued to be fairly decent with a good amount of bigger but just “undersized” fish and few nice Legal fish. Occasionally you get into a school small shakers but I’m finding that overall the fish are a nice size for this time of the year. This should make for great fishing once they grow that last inch or so. The Vancouver harbour has been holding fish but fish are showing west of Bowen Island as well. I finally had a little spare time any decided to take out a good friend who had never been salmon fishing on the ocean.
We headed out on the Salty Dawg and dropped a couple of crab traps and then dropped the lines around the at the QB marker. It was a little drizzly but the water was flat calm and you didn’t need a fish finder to tell you there was bait in the water. There were lots of birds picking up small 3″ herring which is why the “3-3.5″ spoons have been working so well. I have also found 4″ herring in some of the fish I’ve cleaned so I’ve also been running 4” spoons and have had more strikes on them when I give the fish a choice.
So far the best patterns seem to be the Homeland Security, The Kitchen Sink, Irish Cream and my favourite the Green Glo. I like to use Glo Flashers in low light conditions and more reflective flashers when it’s bright sunny conditions. There’s lots of flashers out and it’s a matter of switching up to see what the fish like that day or time of the day. We were early for the slack tide and trolled for about an hour before my buddy got to fight his first chinook in the ocean which came on a 4″ Green Go with a chartreuse double glo flasher. The nice runs he took made it seem like a bigger fish but it was just a 1/2″ shy of the limit. These winter fish can put up a very good fight.
Slack tide was approaching and I had to decide whether to stay or head to the mouth of the Capilano. I had heard a couple of good reports lately and one very nice fish that was involuntary released and was still out there. I trolled there in time for slack and met two other boats but unfortunately there was not a lot of action there that day. Sometimes you zig when you should have zagged! We each ended up with a couple of large crab for dinner and my buddy got to fight his first Chinook!
Pacific Angler Courses (Jan & Feb 2014)
TYING INTRUDER FLY PATTERNS – Taught by Dimitri Roussanidis
NOTE: ONLY 4 spots left for Jan 14/15th course date!
Class Size: 7
Dates: (Jan 14 & 15) (Feb 17 & 18)
Time: 7pm – 9:30pm
This course is designed for those that are interested in tying steelhead flies in the “Intruder style”. This style of fly is extremely productive for steelhead and salmon due to its profile and movement in the water. During this two night (5hr total instruction) tying series, you will learn the very specific techniques and unique materials used to tie this fly. This course is suitable for intermediate to advanced tiers. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
INTRODUCTION TO FLY TYING – Taught by Andre Stepanian
Class Size: 7
Dates: (Jan 21, 28 & Feb 4)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
There is no greater satisfaction than catching a fish with a fly you tied yourself. This course was specifically designed to give you the fundamental skills needed to tie proven fly patterns used here in BC for trout, salmon, and steelhead. This course consists of 3 sessions; each session is 3hrs. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
TYING JIGS FOR STEELHEAD & SALMON – Max Stickel
Class Size: 7
Date: Wednesday, Jan 22nd
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
The use of jigs for catching steelhead and salmon is not a new idea; however, in the last few years we have seen a revolution on our local rivers. Fisherman using had tied jigs are accounting for record numbers of steelhead! Join us around the tying tables and learn how to tie jigs for steelhead and salmon! If you have never thought of making your own lures don’t feel intimidated, Pacific Angler will help you with each step. For those who have lots of experience we will hone your skills and show you the tricks that make jigs the choice of top rods across the Lower Mainland. Students are required to supply their own vise, tools and materials. A 10% discount is available on materials and tools purchased for the course.
INTRODUCTION TO FLY FISHING – Matt Sharp
Class Size: 12
Dates: Seminar on Wed, Feb 12 & Casting Instruction on Sunday, Feb 16th
Seminar Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Casting Time(s): 10am – 1pm or 2pm -5pm
This course was specifically designed to give the new fly fisher the basic knowledge, casting skills and fly fishing strategies to effectively fish our local BC waters. This course is comprised of two sessions; 3hr evening seminar and a 3hr casting session. The dates below show the seminar date first and casting date second.
STEELHEAD FLOAT FISHING – Taught by Jason Tonelli
Class Size: 20
Seminar Only Cost: $45.00 (before taxes)
Seminar & Guided Walk’n Wade Cost: $400 for one person or $500 for two people
Date: Feb 19th (Guided trip dates are flexible)
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
In this fishery, 10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish. This is your chance to learn from the Jason Tonelli who would be in that preferred 10%! Our 3hr evening seminar will educate you on the gear, water types, conditions and other key variables that put veteran steelhead anglers in that 10%. Mastering this fishery will make you the envy of your friends. Upgrade your seminar to include a fully guided day on the water, putting into practice your new knowledge with a Pacific Angler guide.
Additional course dates are added throughout the year due to demand.
Please contact the store for additional information or to be added to a wait list.
Pacific Angler Retail: 604-872-2204
On behalf of the Pacific Angler staff we wish you the best in your fishing endeavors and we hope to see you either at the shop or on the water. To check out the latest Pacific Angler news view the Pacific Angler Facebook page.
Jason, Matt, Andre, Max, Eddie, Jordan and Bryce